Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oh, my gouache!

False! The above headline is bred of lies! This painting is in watercolor. It's true. But all of the rest of this post will be about gouache. The rest of this post will also be spooky, because I'm on a spooky streak. Let's go!

I drew this little girl about two years ago. I was listening to a scary book, but I don't remember the title. I liked the idea of a kid witnessing something distinctly wrong and just walking away, not going the encourage-able route and finding an adult, and just being spooked. Does she look adequately spooked?

Speaking of spooks: Boo! I think it's a ghost. This is one of my latest gouache painting exercises. I bought a set about a week ago and have been training up. I love the texture - you just can't get that with any other medium (well, I can't, anyway).

These two are my current favorites, for opposite but equal reasons. The above is the simplest of my gouache outings, and below is my most elaborate. Both are deliciously cute and spooky. Macabre as a button, they are. I hope you like them, as well.

Bananaman is the very first gouache painting I tied. Upon buying the set, I wanted to dive in full-tilt and see what happened. I liked the outcome so much I gave it to my friend Lucas for his third birthday! He thought it was funny, but later told me, in a bout of hurt feelings and as the result of a time-out, "I don't like bananas anymore."

this post was presented in a distinctly chronologically backward fashion, and if it was confusing, I apologize profusely.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Reason for the Season

Well, okay, commissioned artwork isn't the REASON for the season, as my rate of income has no correlation to the onset of winter. But, me getting steady work this time of year is the ONLY way my loved ones manage to get nice Christmas gifts. Here are some of the cool things I made for OTHER people's loved ones, this season.

Way back in May of oh-ten, my friend Kati started asking me about a set of nesting dolls for her grand-mother, Big Sue. She had it in mind early in the talks to make a set of all of the ladies in the family. They turned out pretty great, and reports from the front-lines indicate that they were a big hit. I wanted to take this chance to make a really quality set to serve as my sample set on ETSY, and I wasn't under a very harsh deadline. As a result, they are head and shoulders (round, bowling-pin shaped shoulders) above previous sets in detail, likeness and style.

There's Kati, down front, on the left. Doesn't she look excited?! She usually does.

These were a commission for Mary's cousin-in-law, Derrick. He's a bit of a Trekkie, and when he and his wife were visiting Mary here in Chicago, he took a liking to my little peg people. I have since been informed that I painted the wrong type of phaser in Captain Picard's hand, but I think I got away with it. Thanks a lot to Josh for ruining my confidence by being a better nerd than me.

Next on the queue was Heather's awesome (ahem) gift for her wife Tina, who is an Alice obsessor. These took some time, and turned out REALLY cute (pat me on the back, quick)! Speaking of backs...

Boo-yah! White Rabbit!

The Caterpillar turned out really cool. I took a lot of cues from the Disney design, but still tried to bring my own aesthetic to each character. It was a unique opportunity to do my first set of these doll's not designed to look like any real life persons. As a result, these look more like 'my art,' than any of the likeness-styled dolls, in my opinion.

Sneeeeaky kitty. Tina loved them - Heather was thrilled. Mission accomplished!

These last two aren't gifts or holiday related in any way. I was tapped by The Infamous Commonwealth Theater of Chicago to design their season of posters. Above is the poster for A Doll's House, and below is what I came up with for The Fifth of July.